I’m pleased to have Wareeze Woodson here today. Her new book, Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman, has just been released and she’s celebrating with a book tour.
Warm up that pot of tea, grab a few biscuits and let’s hear from Wareeze.
Tell us about your writing journey and what it took to get published.
I’ve been an avid reader for years and have always rearranged the ending of the story to suit myself, especially if it didn’t end in the proper manner. Only happy ever-after endings are allowed, and even those do not always end as I would like.
Years ago, I forgot how many, I attended a seminar on writing. We were encouraged to submit a few pages for the agents to review. When my turn arrived to talk to an agent, he told me I was too fat and unattractive to continue writing. He suggested I give up. In his opinion, it was a waste of my time as I’d never make it.
That was certainly discouraging, but after attending writing classes and growing much older, I joined the group Romance Writers of America. One would say, I am a glutton for punishment and stubborn to boot. I joined a critique group in my local chapter of RWA and polished my craft. I met a publisher at The Lone Star convention who decided to take a chance on me. Now I’m a published author. A long and sometimes very hard journey, but I made it.
What inspired you to write “Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman”?
A neighbor lost custody of her child, and she seemed to shrug it off as if nothing much had happened. I wanted to shake her. Perhaps that was her way of coping with the situation. I brooded about how losing a son or daughter would affect me. After much deliberation, I decided to write a story where the mother had little choice, but still managed to remain in her son’s life, thus redeeming motherhood in my eyes.
What’s the most interesting fact/tidbit you learned while researching your book?
Most of us realize how few rights women had in the 1800s, but tons of readers still expect the heroine to act as women do today. Fat chance! A husband had total rights of ownership of the children, crudely put, but true. He could forbid his wife the privilege of even seeing her children if he decided to do so. When a woman married, even a wealthy woman, every dime became her husband’s. He could spend it on anything he so desired, even gamble it away and deny her a new gown at his whim. A family could arrange a trust fund for her children, but her wealth passed from her father’s or brother’s hands to her husband.
What do you like most about your hero?
Adron is devoted to his family, a leader of men, confidant and is an in-charge sort of fellow. He believes in doing what is best and right for all concerned, or at least, what he considers to be right, or best. He loves his little ward and fiercely guards him, even from what he thinks is his mother’s careless influence.
What do you like most about your heroine?
Laurel is protective of her young son, even to the point of death if necessary. She will never give up and drift away. I even admire the way she melts towards Adron when he shows such devotion to her son. Never having had attention from her father or her deceased husband after he returned home wounded, she is fascinated, overwhelmed and desirous of that sort of devotion for her child. All of her barriers against him fell with a crash. With all of his faults, domineering and demanding ways, she couldn’t resist accepting the bad to gain the good. Besides all of that, he’s a hunk!
If you could time travel, would you go forward or backwards and why?
I love to read about the past, but I wouldn’t want to live there. A short visit would be super. With the state this world is in at the moment, I doubt the future will be all that great either. I prefer to make my way in the here and now, not wishing for something that will not be possible. I like to keep the visiting in faraway places between the covers of my reading material. That way, I can close the book and return to reality at any time.
What are you working on next?
An Enduring Love will be out soon. 2014. It is also a regency romance with twists of suspense as is Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman. My work in progress is a 3rd regency romance.
A quick overview of An Enduring Love: A girl from Latvia marries an English diplomat. He returns home to attend his father’s deathbed while she is trapped in the turmoil erupting in Latvia. He’s told she’s dead. Four years later, she arrives in London in the middle of a come-out ball for his sister, where he plans to announce his betrothal to a young debutant. Conflict!
A quick overview of my present work in progress: Vanishing Choices: Bethany, almost on the shelf at twenty, borrows her uncle’s gig without permission to escape her aunt’s harping tongue for a while. Deep in the forest on a seldom used, weed infested lane, she discovers a man burying a body. She pushes her horse at a break-neck speed, nearly over-turning the carriage, thinking to elude the killer, but now her life is in danger.
Now… a look into Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman:
Recently widowed Lady Laurel Laningham flees Landings to escape her untenable position. Alone now and at the mercy of her sister-in-law, she decides to nestle under her aunt’s wings for a spell. To add to her burdens, her young son’s new guardian, Lord Adron Gladrey, has announced his intentions to take complete charge of his ward. The killer is stalking her and a devious jewel thief is stealing the family jewels. Can she convince her son’s guardian she is not a dangerous lunatic and is perfectly capable of raising her son or will he always consider her untrustworthy as a mother to his ward? Will his stubborn blindness send her straight into the path of the murderer, or will he relent in time to save her from following her husband into the grave?
His voice floated down to her. “Are you or the child injured?”
“I think several scrapes and bruises at most.” Laurel trembled and brushed her bonnet out of her face. She heard his quick intake of breath.
“You’re positive? You must have taken quite a tumble when the coach overturned. Possibly you’re more injured than you know.”
“Only a little shaken.” She took a deep, calming breath then continued with more force. “I’m certain we’re both fine.”
He hesitated and exhaled deeply. “A damsel in distress then. Do you perhaps have a name?”
Authority rang in his voice. She clutched Jamie a little tighter and offered him a tremulous smile. “Laurel Jane Laningham. Thank you for coming to our rescue.” She shaded her eyes with one hand, waiting for him to return the introduction.
“Let’s get you out of there. Hand me the boy first.”
He reached down into the overturned coach and Laurel lifted Jamie above her head into the waiting arms of the stranger. Her rescuer leapt to the ground with her son. A chill of foreboding curled around her. He’d said the boy. An unknown man shouldn’t know the child was a male. With every one of her senses alert, she listened intently for the stranger to return. Saddle leather squeaked and the thunder of hooves struck the ground in retreat.
Laurel screamed, “Bring my son back. I’ll see you hanged for this, you blackguard. Come back here. Help. Driver, help me.”
I am a native Texan and still live in the Houston area. I married by high school sweetheart, and after raising 4 children, they blessed up with 8 grandchildren. AND after all these years, we still love each other. True romance is happy ever after.
Buy Link: http://amzn.to/19tLZM7
Now for the goodies:
Wareeze will be awarding one eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour and one $50 GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Increase your chances to win by visiting all of the stops on the tour. For a complete list see the Goddess Fish site: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/12/virtual-book-tour-conduct-unbecoming-of.html